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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts

Jenny Macklin MP

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Senator Stephen Conroy

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

$15 milliion investment for the continuation of NITV

Media release
16 April 2010

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The Australian Government today announced that it will continue funding for the National Indigenous Television (NITV) Service with $15.2 million ensuring its operation for the next 12 months.

Arts Minister, Peter Garrett, said he was very pleased to be able to give NITV certainty over its immediate future.

"This new funding will ensure that NITV can continue its programming commitments and operating arrangements and have certainty both for the remainder of this financial year and into the next," Mr Garrett said.

"Having provided this funding, the Government will also start a review into its investment in the Indigenous broadcasting and media sector to be coordinated by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

"The Government is committed to supporting the Indigenous broadcasting sector with substantial investment in NITV and Imparja Television, as well as support for Indigenous Community Television, five community radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Darwin, licensed community radio stations in 22 regional centres, eight Remote Indigenous Media Organisations and 71 Remote Indigenous Broadcasting Services.

"The review will be conducted across Government to include input from the Indigenous Affairs and the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolios."

Minister Macklin said the Government was determined to ensure that the resources allocated to Indigenous broadcasting were delivering the best outcomes for Indigenous people.

"All Australians understand the importance of the electronic media to communicate and inform. Indigenous broadcasting provides a vehicle for Indigenous people to communicate their perspective on national issues," Ms Macklin said.

"We know Aboriginal people enjoy having access to a wide range of programming that is relevant to their experiences and lives."

NITV currently has no free-to-air carriage outside remote Australia.

Senator Conroy said the review into Indigenous broadcasting would provide the Government with important information that would inform considerations of free-to-air carriage of Indigenous television and radio content.

"The Government will use this information to explore options for the carriage of Indigenous broadcasting content on new digital broadcasting platforms, including the Governmentfunded Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service. The VAST service will, by 31 December 2013, replace the current analog satellite service that delivers television and radio to remote Australia," Senator Conroy said.

The review will also look at other Australian Government investment in the sector.

"This includes the ABC, SBS and the Community Broadcasting Foundation. These organisations make a substantial contribution to the production and distribution of Indigenous broadcasting content, but fall outside the $14.5 million Indigenous Broadcasting Program," Senator Conroy said.

The Indigenous broadcasting review will take into account the findings of the Review of NITV that was conducted in the second half of 2009.

A summary report of the NITV review is available from: www.arts.gov.au/indigenous/national_indigenous_television 

Commonwealth of Australia